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Everything MLRC has published, in any publication, since 2017.

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Apr 2024

Investigative Reporter Wins Access to California Official’s Calendar Entries

Steve Zansberg

On March 5, Judge Chang issued a Final Ruling, in a case under California’s Public Records Act, granting a Writ of Mandate that commands Governor Gavin Newsom to release the calendar entries of all meetings between his Cabinet Secretary and any representative of Pacific Gas & Electric in May 2023.

Apr 2024

MLRC Goes West

Jeff Hermes

Our Entertainment & Media Law conference kicked off the season on March 21st, with the MLRC working once again with our partners at Southwestern Law School once for our half-day conference in Los Angeles. I’m pleased to report that our early notices were all extremely positive.

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Mar 2024

Supreme Court, Second Circuit Consider Copyright Infringement Statute of Limitation Implications

Gillian Vernick

Neither case squarely presented the question of when a copyright claim ‘accrues,’ understood by many federal circuits as when the copyright owner first “discovers” the allegedly infringing use. However, the challenges that both cases raise about the discovery rule’s application may hint at its potential impermanence.

Mar 2024

Missouri Legislature Considers Anti-SLAPP Bill

Jean Maneke

There are at least two other bills pending in the Missouri legislature containing nearly identical anti-SLAPP language, one before the House and one before the Senate, but neither of those bills has been set for a committee hearing yet and it gets more and more unlikely that they will move quickly once spring break is…

Mar 2024

Broadcaster Wins Summary Judgment and Attorneys’ Fees Under New York’s Expanded Anti-SLAPP Statute

Jacquelyn Schell and Chad Bowman

The news reports about sexual assault claims against the Catholic Church were protected by the fair report privilege and plaintiff failed to adduce any evidence of gross irresponsibility.

Mar 2024

The Supreme Court Hears the NetChoice Cases

Jeff Hermes

Whatever happens here, it seems unlikely that we will see a straight thumbs-up or thumbs-down on the constitutionality of the state laws.

Mar 2024

Fourth Circuit Rules Against News Org’s Use of Ted Nugent Photograph

Jamie Ehrlich and Cynthia A. Gierhart

The Fourth Circuit ruled that a news organization’s use of a photograph of musician Ted Nugent did not constitute fair use, siding with the photographer who argued that the news organization did not alter or add any new expression required to overcome the requirements for proper attribution.

Mar 2024

Prosecutor’s Defamation Suit SLAPPed On Appeal

Cam Ruk

The Supreme Court of Texas granted a newspaper’s anti-SLAPP motion, dismissing a state prosecutor’s claim that he was defamed in an article discussing a wrongful murder conviction.

Mar 2024

Massachusetts High Court: Motive is Irrelevant Under Anti-SLAPP Law

Jeffrey J. Pyle

In Bristol Asphalt v. Rochester Bituminous Products, the court overturned a controversial 2017 decision that required evaluation of the SLAPP filer’s “primary motivating goal” for bringing suit. The court also held that appellate review of anti-SLAPP decisions will henceforth be de novo, not for abuse of discretion.

Mar 2024

Anti-SLAPP Developments in the UK and Europe and What It’s Like Being Slapped in Greece

David Hooper

There are things to learn from the markers set out by the EU and Council of Europe as to the identifying features of SLAPPs and how to produce a draft law acceptable to a wide spectrum of differing approaches to anti-SLAPP law.

Mar 2024

RFK, Jr. Loses In New Hampshire

Jack Greiner

Kennedy's effort to have that court exercise jurisdiction over his defamation suit failed out of the gate.

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Mar 2024

D.C. Court Affirms Anti-SLAPP Dismissal, and Attorneys’ Fees, in Case About Newsroom Manager’s Workplace Conduct

Alia Smith

The D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a pair of lawsuits, under the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act, alleging claims of defamation, employment discrimination, false light, and tortious interference arising from expressions critical of a newsroom manager’s conduct at public radio station WAMU. This is the first case counsel is aware of extending the D.C.…

Mar 2024

Calling Someone Racist Not Defamatory

Michael S. Anderson

In affirming dismissal, the Court of Appeals held that the characterization of a particular statement as “racial” or “racist” constitutes non-actionable opinion protected by the First Amendment.

Mar 2024

Jury Awards $25M in Damages, Including $20M in Punitive Damages, for The Oklahoman’s Misattribution of Racial Slur

Michael Norwick

Actual malice finding and massive punitive award comes notwithstanding the Gannett-owned newspaper’s correction of the error within two and a half hours.

Feb 2024

Happy Slam, Happy Conference

George Freeman

Executive director on MLRC's dynamic inaugural conference in Sydney.

Jan 2024

FOIA Case for Records Could Mean Mexican Journalist Finally Wins Asylum in U.S.

Adam A. Marshall and Chuck Tobin

A federal FOIA case could be the key to a successful resolution of a Mexican journalist’s and his son’s decades-long fight for permanent U.S. asylum after fleeing their home country.

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Jan 2024

Fifth Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction Against Texas Prosecution of Netflix

Miranda A. Cassidy

The Fifth Circuit concluded that the rule which ordinarily requires federal courts to abstain from interfering in state criminal prosecutions did not apply, due to the evidence that Netflix’s prosecution was the product of “bad faith” on the part of Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin.

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Jan 2024

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms That Texas Book Rating System Is Unconstitutional

Laura Lee Prather

Unlike the oral argument which focused primarily on the unconstitutional definitions and the workings of the rating scheme, the ruling leaned into a surgical analysis of standing, ripeness, and sovereign immunity that dissected each of the State’s arguments as to government speech, the government operations doctrine, and warning labels in great detail.

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Jan 2024

Controversial Politician Kari Lake Loses Anti-SLAPP Motion, Showing Flaws in Arizona Statute

Gregg Leslie

The recent denial of a controversial Arizona anti-SLAPP motion by politician Kari Lake has demonstrated the flaws and unanswered questions hidden in the Arizona Anti-SLAPP law, which was amended in 2022 and has yet to be the subject of an appellate decision.

Jan 2024

Questions and Predictions for ’24

George Freeman

MLRC executive director has questions on what the new year will bring in law, politics, sport, entertainment, and whether his column might benefit from an AI assist.

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